Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Saga: Tartan Army 2

Here's 5 more little guys for the Celtic warbands. It's gonna be a long summer.

Monday, 22 July 2019

BIG Saga AoM

You wait ages for a Saga tournament and then two come along at once. This was the Bristol Independent Gaming Age of Magic tournament. I decided to bring my Elf Kingdoms warband as I've played them the most, and they're pretty easy to use. The format was to include legendary units and warbands, but I kept to my standard list. While struggling to decide which spells to use, I came up with the great idea of not fielding a Sorceror at all, and replacing it with my recently benched Dragon (Monster (Scourge (Flying))).

Warlord, Mounted
Scourge (Flying)
Captain, Mounted
Paladin, Flying Mount
8 Hearthguard Mounted
2*8 Warriors
2*12 Levy Bows

It's funny how different people suit different lists. I was talking to one of the Otherworlds players, and he was saying how he can't get any play out of his Kingdoms warband but is comfortable using Otherworlds, while I'm the exact opposite.

My first game was against Nathan's viking Horde. I lost my dragon pretty quickly in a fight over one of the objectives, but managed to fight back elsewhere, until it was just his archers left, which I retreated from, deciding that wading into the forest to get them would be more damaging to me. (I'm still haunted by the time I charged my 6 hearthguard into a wood, and they got massacred by a bunch of levy.) So, in the end this was a pretty clear victory. I was wondering about not including a Sorceror as Nathan's Sorceror had probably been his star player, but on balance the extra unit had probably earned its place, especially as it brings an extra Saga Dice.

The second game was against Vicky's Horde. I was mostly terrified of her two units of Berserkers, so I concentrated on getting my two units of levy to shoot them out of the game before they could reach me. I think only one other player fielded two levy shooting units. I feel that in AoM, with the extra points, and some decent buffs on some boards, and spells, that they're a pretty good choice. With the Berserkers gone and the War Chariots engaged I got another pretty clear victory.

My final game was against Ben's superb Jason and the Argonauts inspired Undead. I was really hoping to avoid these guys coz who likes playing against Undead? Fortunately I have had some experience of annoying people with my Undead army, so I had a decent idea of how to go about combating them.

Ben was annoyingly good at using his magic and my fatigue to thwart my plans, but my archers, again, did excellently early on, taking out his creatures, and I managed to chip away at the skeletons with the dragon. My dragon died early in every game, but I feel it was still very useful for weakening the opposition for the other units to mop up. So although it was torn to shreds by skeletons in the third turn, it managed to more than pay for itself.

Although this game felt like it was in the balance all the way through, my Paladin managed to pounce on and kill the enemy Necromancer towards the end, and I ended up with another pretty clear victory. To be fair, a major reason I won this one was some outstandingly good dice rolls at a couple of crucial moments.

My experiment of not fielding a Sorceror would have to be called a success. This is not because Sorcerors aren't worth the point cost in AoM, because the Sorcerors I played against more than paid for themselves and generally in other lists I find Sorcerors very useful, but because I've not been very effective at utilising Sorcerors with my Kingdoms list.

The best thing about the tournament, apart from the general chat and fair play, was some excellently themed and painted warbands, so I'll be looking forward to the next one, in October.

Special mention should go to Matt's sci-fi-style Kingdoms army. Although I don't play the game, I'm always impressed by the sorts of warbands that people create for HotT. Istm AoM is another game that can really suit the more creatively and abstractly themed bands.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Devizes Attack! Saga

I played in the Saga Ironman tournament at Devizes Attack! It was fun, but hard on the old brain cells. I spent the week checking out all the warbands I've never fielded in Age of Vikings not realising that all three historical Saga books were involved. As it happened, I ended up playing 2 from Age of Crusades, and 1 from Aetius and Arthur.

The first game was against young Kostia. He had Mongols, with a War Drum, and I had Ordensstaat with Brothers of the Sword, two armies I've not played before. I couldn't really figure out what to do on my board, and apart from running the Brothers across the field until they were dead, I didn't really get much of a plan together. I mostly seemed to get use out of Tyrants and Sword Brothers, but I didn't use any of the sacrifice options. In the end I got a narrow victory.

The second game, I played Moors with Yusuf ibn Tashfin and some camels against Graeme's Spanish with El Cid. I've played a game of Moors against Spanish before, I think, but didn't really remember much about it. I got a lot of mileage out of Discord, Torrent of Iron and Inspiration, and kept rolling bunches of rares to power it. My hearthguard ripped through the enemy, and this one ended in a bit of a massacre. I think I will make up my own warband and play Moors some more.

I've been looking for a copy of Aetius and Arthur for a while now and haven't managed to find one. This final game was from that book, and I played Romans against Martin's Goths, two more armies I've never played, or even seen, before. Romans use the Impetus mechanic which I felt I used well enough, ending the game with 0, which felt like I'd timed things ok. On this board I used Ardor and Scuta the most; the mindless melee buffs are the easiest ones to get your head round. And I got another narrow victory.

So that was fun. It was actually quite hard work analysing so many new boards while your opponent is waiting for you to play your dice. Loads of excellent warbands, all the paperwork you need, and all the fiddly bits supplied, all for 12 quid. I'd recommend it.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Saga: Tartan Army

I'm planning a vaguely celtic collection for Saga, from which I'm hoping to get Scots, Irish, Norse Gael, and Pict warbands. For this test I decided to go tartan, but it was hard to judge how much tartan was too much. And in the end, decided there was no such thing as too much.

I've also finished some dark ages priests/sorcerors, and some leaders for my red Sword and Spear army.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Saga: Anglo-Danes + Polish + AoM

I played a trial game of historical Saga crossed with Age of Magic. I used my Anglo-Danes as some sort of spider cult with a big Behemoth spider and three smaller spiders as biped Creatures. (I decided spiders should be biped Creatures as their ability to not take fatigue in uneven ground felt a bit more spidery to me than the extra speed of quadruped Creatures. Actually I think Imay have had this rule wrong. Now, I believe quadruped Creatures do not suffer fatigue for uneven terrain, so in future I will field these as Quadrupeds.) I added a monk-type as a Sorceror, which left me with 4 1/2 points to spend on standard Anglo-Danes.

GW River Trolls make perfect Vodyanoy, so they worked well as biped Creatures in a Polish warband. The bishop of Bath and Wells came in as their Sorceror, which left 4 points for standard Poles.

As the Anglo-Dane BB can add fatigue to their opponents, I chose a bunch of spells that also added fatigue, and thought that would be a decent synergy.

The Poles also went for annoying sabotage type spells, and also Laying on Hands, because of the enemy's fatigue abilities.

The game was a cagey affair, and probably because of all the sabotage type spells, not very brutal. The Poles managed to pick off enough foes to win, helped by one unit of Vodyanoy massacring the spider Creatures.

I kinda expected the battle to be wild and unpredictable, using all these elements that aren't supposed to go together, but actually things went quite sedately and unspectacular. Not sure if it was the army combos and negative spells or the battle plans, or just that there's nothing particularly unpredictable about this sort of game. I might try this again with the same armies and see how it goes, or maybe try a few more different armies.